‘Pakistan alone not responsible for bringing Taliban to table’
Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria, in an apparent response to President Ashraf Ghani's statement that he no longer expected Pakistan to honour its peace pledges, said Islamabad denounced terror in all forms.
Islamabad did not differentiate among terrorist groups, he insisted, reiterating that peace and stability in the neighbouring country was in the best interest of Pakistan -- itself a victim of terrorism.
On Monday, a three-member Taliban delegation arrived in the port city of Karachi to explore the possibility of peace talks with the Afghan government, but officials remain tight-lipped on the development.
Shahabuddin Dilawar, Jan Muhammad Madani and Mullah Abbas Akhund reached Karachi the day President Ashraf Ghani hit out at Pakistan for failing to keep its promises of nudging the Afghan insurgents into talks.
The representatives from Taliban’s Qatar-based political are expected to meet Afghan government, a source close to the militant movement said.
He called the visit a “significant move” towards breaking the impasse that was caused by Taliban’s recent refusal to sit across the negotiating table with Ghani administration officials.
After a series of meetings in Islamabad and Kabul, the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) -- involving Afghanistan, Pakistan China and the United States expected -- had asked the Taliban to return to peace talks in March.
One Islamabad-based diplomat characterised the Taliban delegation’s trip as part Pakistan’s guarded efforts for the resumption of Afghan peace and reconciliation negotiations.
He added US Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Jonathan Carpenter was also in Islamabad to nudge “all sides” to resume the peace process, which is yet to make substantive progress.
In July 2015, Pakistan had hosted the first direct talks between Taliban and Afghan government officials. However, the process was derailed after Taliban leader Mullah Omar’s death was confirmed.
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